Jean-Luc Ponty Discography

Somewhere in the dim and mote-filled halls of the conservatory/factory where young, impressionable hands are chained to the Byzantine machines of long-dead madmen, one mind rebelled. It was the gypsy music of American jazz, the exotic smoke that spilled from the bronze censers of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, that captured the imagination of a young student named Jean-Luc Ponty. When the smoke cleared, the classical world and its dying gods were one gray, gifted violinist poorer, and the rest of the workaday world one technical electric violinist richer.

An album of unremarkable (save for the remarkable presence of the violin) bebop followed in the form of Sunday Walk (1967), but the real magic began when Ponty plugged in his violin and began making jazz fusion albums. In between apprenticeships with the archmages Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin, Ponty quietly went about setting the jazz world on its ear by thrusting his electric violin into the new language of electric jazz, beginning with the grand guignol gesture of an entire album of Zappa compositions recorded with the Mothers, King Kong (1970).

After the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Ponty swam into the wide, cold arms of Atlantic and began making progressive rock/fusion albums that capitalized on the commercial market created by Mahavishnu, Return To Forever, Weather Report, etc. By the release of Imaginary Voyage (1976), a Ponty album could be expected to rise near the top of the US Jazz charts and make a rumbling among the general record-buying public as well.

The Atlantic Years (1975-1985) represent for many the sirloin of his body of work, although by Individual Choice (1983) his growing interest in synthesizers and a general sameness in his work (which had admittedly been there from the beginning) suggested that his progressive rock experiment had run its course, a discovery that most progressive artists had made simultaneously. As with many of his contemporaries, Ponty took his adventurous spirit into the field of world music, releasing Tchokola (1991) and No Absolute Time (1993) with African musicians. In 1994, he teamed up with Al Di Meola and Stanley Clarke for an acoustic world tour that resulted in one album, The Rite of Strings (1995). A decade later, he and Clarke repeated the experiment with Béla Fleck.

In the coffeeless coffee shops of the progressive pedant, debate still rages on over the greatest fusion jazz guitarists, but among these hierophants of higher musical consciousness few would begrudge Ponty his pedestal as the greatest electric fusion violinist of his era. The man has carved out a remarkable niche for himself, and while a strict diet of Ponty would be restrictive, I can personally and heartily endorse Upon The Wings of Music (1975), Aurora (1976), Imaginary Voyage (1976), Live (1979) and Fables (1985).

Jean-Luc Ponty Discography

JAZZ LONG PLAYING (1964)
Une Nuit Au Violon / Modo Azul / Spanish Castles / Sniffin’ The Blues / Postlude In C / Au Privave / Manoir De Mes Reves / YTNOP Blues / I Want To Talk About You / A Night In Tunisia / Satin Doll. Released on elpee in 1964 in France (Phillips, B-77810L). Reissued on CD on June 22, 2010 in Canada (Universal). Repackaged w. a Stephane Grappelli record on 2LP as Les Grands Violinistes Des Jazz in June 1970 in France (Phillips, 6612039).

VIOLIN-SUMMIT (1967)
Live tracks: Summit Soul / Pent Up House / Timme’s Blues // It Don’t Mean A Thing / Pennies From Heaven / Only Time Will Tell / Hot Toddy. Co-credited to Stuff Smith, Stephane Grappelly and Svend Asmussen and released in 1967 on elpee in Germany (Saba, SB 15 099 ST). Reissued on elpee in the US (Verve/MPS, 821 363-1).

SUNDAY WALK (1967)
Sunday Walk / Carole’s Garden / Cat Coach / You’ve Changed / Suite For Claudia. Released on elpee in 1967 in France and Germany (Saba, SB 15 139 ST) and the US (BASF/MPS, 20645). Repackaged on elpee as Critic’s Choice in 1969 in the US (Prestige, PRST-7676). Reached #47 on the US Jazz charts in 1979.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EAR (1968)
With A Little Help From My Friends / 3 + 2 = 1 / California / Gimme Little Sign / Pata / Pebble Beach Walk / Pacific Drove / Fort Ord Canon. Released on elpee in 1968 in the US (World Pacific Jazz, ST-20134). Reissued on CD in February 1994 in the US (One Way, 17605).

ELECTRIC CONNECTION (1969)
Summit Soul / Hypomode Del Soul / Scarborough Fair – Canticle / The Name of The Game / The Loner / Waltz For Clara / Forget / Eighty-One. Released on elpee in May 1969 in the US (World Pacific Jazz, ST-20156). Reissued on CD in June 1993 in the US (One Way, 17413).

THE JEAN-LUC PONTY EXPERIENCE WITH THE GEORGE DUKE TRIO (1969)
Live tracks: Foosh / Pamukkale / Contact / Cantaloupe Island / Starlight, Starbright. Released on elpee in 1969 in the US (World Pacific Jazz, ST-20168) and in the UK (Sunset, SLS-50232).

KING KONG (1970)
King Kong / Idiot Bastard Son / Twenty Small Cigars / How Would You Like To Have A Head Like That // Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra / America Drinks And Goes Home. Released on elpee in 1970 in the US (Liberty/Pacific Jazz, ST-20172) and the UK (Liberty, LBS-83375). Reissued on CD on July 13, 1993 in the US (Blue Note, 89539).

LIVE IN MONTREUX (SONATA EROTICA) (1972)
Live tracks: Preludio / Pizzicato Con Fuoco E Con Echo / Apassionate / Con Sensualito / Accelerando El Rallentando. Released on elpee In 1972 in France (Disc A-Z, STEC-133). Reissued on elpee in 1976 in the US (Inner City, 1003) and in 1979 (Atmosphere, 5008).

OPEN STRINGS (1973)
Flipping, Part 1 / Flipping, Part 2 / Flipping, Part 3 / Open Strings / Sad Ballad. Released on elpee in 1973 in the US (MPS, MB-21288).

UPON THE WINGS OF MUSIC (1975)
Upon The Wings of Music / Questions With No Answer / Now I Know / Polyfolk Dance / Waving Memories / Echoes of The Future / Bowing-Bowing / Fight For Life. Released on elpee and cassette in February 1975 in the US and Canada (Atlantic, SD/CS 18138), the UK (Atlantic, K-50149) and Germany (Atlantic, ATL-50149); reached #158 on the US charts and #33 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD on November 5, 2002 in the US (Collectables Jazz Classics, 6330).

AURORA (1975)
Is Once Enough? / Renaissance / Aurora, Part 1 / Aurora, Part 2 // Passenger of The Dark / Lost Forest / Between You And Me / Waking Dream. Released on elpee in 1975 in the US (Atlantic, SD-18163), the UK (Atlantic, K-50228), Brazil (Atlantic, 6107 005), Italy (Atlantic, W-50228), Japan (Atlantic, P-10169A)  and Germany and the Netherlands (Atlantic, ATL-50228); reached #123 on the US charts and #14 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD in Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-2092).

Renaissance (1976)
b/w Renaissance (mono). Released as promotional 7-inch in 1976 in the US (Atlantic, PR-257).

IMAGINARY VOYAGE (1976)
New Country / The Gardens of Babylon / Wandering On The Milky Way / Once Upon A Dream / Tarantula // Imaginary Voyage Part I / Imaginary Voyage Part II / Imaginary Voyage Part III / Imaginary Voyage Part IV. Released on elpee and 8-track in September 1976 in the US (Atlantic, SD/TP 18195), the UK (Atlantic, K-50317), Brazil (Atlantic, 3024) and Germany and the Netherlands (Atlantic, ATL-50317); reached #67 on the US charts and #2 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on cassette in the US (Atlantic, CS 19136). Reissued on CD in Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-2093).

New Country (1976)
b/w Renaissance. Released on 7-inch single in November 1976 in the US (Atlantic, 45-3368). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1976 in the US (Atlantic, 45-3368) feat. A stereo and mono. Also released as promotional 7-inch in Argentina (Atlantic, DIF. 131) with “Aurora Part I (live)” on the B side.

CANTELOUPE ISLAND (1976)
King Kong / Idiot Bastard Son / Twenty Small Cigars / America Drinks And Goes Home / How Would You Like To Have A Head Like That / Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra / Foosh / Pamukkale / Contact / Canteloupe Island / Starlight, Starbright. Compilation featuring Live In Los Angeles and King Kong released on 2LP in 1976 in the US (Blue Note, BNLA-632).

NEW VIOLIN SUMMIT (1976)
Live tracks: Valium / Got My Mojo Working / Nuggis / Horizon // Flipping / Astrorama / Violin Summit Nr. 2. Archival recording from 1971 co-credited to Nipso Brantner, Don “Sugarcane” Harris and Michal Urbaniak and released on 2LP in 1976 in Germany (MPS/BASF, 33 21285-8).

ENIGMATIC OCEAN (1977)
Overture / The Trans-Love Express / Mirage / Enigmatic Ocean, Part I-IV / Nostalgic Lady / Struggle of The Sea Turtle, Part I-III. Released on elpee and 8-track in September 1977 in the US and Australia (Atlantic, SD/TP 19110), the UK (Atlantic, K-50409), Canada (Atlantic, KSD-19110) and Germany (Atlantic, ATL-50409); reached #35 on the US charts and #1 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD in the US (Atlantic, 19110) and Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-2094).

COSMIC MESSENGER (1978)
Cosmic Messenger / The Art of Happiness / Don’t Let the World Pass You By / I Only Feel Good With You // Puppets’ Dance / Fake Paradise / Ethereal Mood / Egocentric Molecules. Released on elpee in 1978 in the US and Australia (Atlantic, SD-19189), the UK (Atlantic, K-50505), Brazil (WEA, 30083), Canada (Atlantic, KSD-19189), Germany (Atlantic, ATL-50505) and Japan (Atlantic, P-10588A); reached #36 on the US charts and #2 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on audiophile elpee in the 1980s in the US (Atlantic Super Disk, SD-16603). Reissued on CD in the US (Atlantic, 19189) and Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-2095).

Cosmic Messenger (1978)
b/w The Art of Happiness. Released on 7-inch in November 1978 in the US (Atlantic, 3523).

LIVE (1979)
Live tracks: Aurora Part I / Aurora Part II / Imaginary Voyage Part III / Imaginary Voyage Part IV // Mirage / No Strings Attached / Egocentric Molecules. Released on elpee and cassette in 1979 in the US (Atlantic, SD/CS 19229), the UK (Atlantic, K-50594), Brazil (Atlantic, 30104), Canada (Atlantic, KSD-19229), Germany and Yugoslavia (Atlantic, ATL-50594) and Venezuela (WEA, 2622); reached #68 on the US charts and #8 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD on January 21, 2003 in the US (Wounded Bird, 9229).

A TASTE FOR PASSION (1979)
Stay With Me / Sunset Drive / Dreamy Eyes / Beach Girl // A Taste For Passion / Life Cycles / Reminiscence / Give Us A Chance / Obsession / Farewell. Released on elpee and cassette in August 1979 in the US (Atlantic, SD/CS 19253), Canada (Atlantic, QSD-19253), Germany (Atlantic, ATL/ATL4 50 666) and Japan (Atlantic, P-10754A); reached #54 on the US charts and #4 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD in the US (Atlantic, 19253).

Sunset Drive (1979)
b/w Beach Girl. Released as promotional 7-inch in November 1979 in the US (Atlantic, 3639).

VIOLIN SUMMIT (1979)
Bowing-Bowing / Golden Green / Memorial Jam For Stuff Smith // Violin Summit No.2 / Valerie. Archival recording from December 1973 co-credited to Stephane Grappelli and released on elpee in 1979 in France (America, 30 AM 6139) and Canada (Everest, FS-355). Repackaged without title on elpee and cassette in 1981 in the US (Inner City, IC/TIC 1005). Re-released and repackaged in the 1980s on elpee, CD and cassette. Repackaged as Jazz Violin Summit on expanded CD with six bonus tracks on November 9, 1999 (Legacy, 477).

CIVILIZED EVIL (1980)
Demagomania / In Case We Survive / Forms of Life / Peace Crusaders // Happy Robots / Shape Up Your Mind / Good Guys, Bad Guys / Once A Blue Planet. Released on elpee and cassette in August 1980 in the US and the Philippines (Atlantic, SD/CS 16020), the UK (Atlantic, K-50744), Brazil (Atlantic, 6107 028), Canada (Atlantic, XSD-16020), Germany (Atlantic, ATL-50744) and Japan (Pioneer/Warner, P-10939A); reached #73 on the US charts and #3 on the US Jazz charts. Re-issued on CD in 1992 in the US (Atlantic, 16020).

Demagomania (edit) (1980)
b/w Happy Robots. Released on 7-inch single in November 1980 in the US (Atlantic, 3778). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1980 in the US (Atlantic, 3778) feat. A edit and LP versions.

GIANTS (1981)
Pentup House / Pennies From Heaven / Flipping / Minor Swing / Carole’s Garden / Le Chanson De Rue / Sad Ballad / Souvenir De Villingen. Compilation co-credited to Stephane Grappelli and released on cassette in 1981 (Pausa).

LIVE AT DONTE’S (1981)
Live tracks: Hypomode Del Sol / People // California / Eighty-One. Recorded in March 1969 and released on elpee in 1981 in the US (Blue Note, LT-1102). Re-released on expanded CD with four bonus tracks (“Foosh,” “Sara’s Theme,” “Pamukkale,” “Cantaloupe Island”) in 1995 in the US (Pacific Jazz, 35635).

MYSTICAL ADVENTURES (1982)
Mystical Adventures (Suite), Parts I-V // Rhythms of Hope / As / Final Truth, Part I / Final Truth, Part 2 / Jig. Released on elpee and cassette in January 1982 in the US (Atlantic, SD/CS 19333), the UK (Atlantic, K-50872), Brazil (Atlantic, 20073), Canada (Atlantic, XSD-19333) and Germany (Atlantic, ATL-50872); reached #44 on the US charts and #1 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD in the US (Atlantic, 19333).

As (edit) (1982)
b/w Rhythms of Hope. Released on 7-inch in January 1982 in the US (Atlantic, 4009). Also released as promotional 7-inch and 12-inch in 1982 in the US (Atlantic, 4009/PR-420) with “As (LP version)” on the flip side.

INDIVIDUAL CHOICE (1983)
Computer Incantations For World Peace / Far From The Beaten Paths / In Spiritual Love // Eulogy To Oscar Romero / Nostalgia / Individual Choice / In Spite of All. Released on elpee and cassette in August 1983 in the US (Atlantic, 80098-1/4), the UK (Polydor, POLD-5138), Germany (Polydor, 817 189), Japan (Polydor, 28MJ-3364) and Poland (F&R, ZAIKS BIEM 021); reached #134 on the US charts and #2 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD in the US (Atlantic, 80098).

Far From The Beaten Paths (edit) (1983)
b/w Far From The Beaten Paths (LP version). Released as promotional 7-inch in 1983 in the US (Atlantic, 7-89787).

OPEN MIND (1984)
Open Mind / Solitude / Watching Birds // Modern Times Blues / Oribtal Encounters / Intuition. Released on elpee and cassette in August 1984 in the US (Atlantic, 80185-1/4), Canada (Atlantic, 78 01851) and Brazil, France and Germany (Polydor, 823 581-1Y); reached #172 on the US charts and #5 on the US Jazz charts. Reissued on CD in the US (Atlantic, 80185). Reissued on digitally remastered CD on August 15, 2006 in the US (Wounded Bird, 8185).

Open Mind (Special Dance Mix) (1984)
b/w Open Mind (edited). Released on 12-inch and promotional 12-inch in 1984 in the US (Atlantic, 0-86912/DMD 801). Also released as a promotional 12-inch in 1984 in the US (Atlantic, PR-672) with “Open Mind” b/w “Modern Time Blues.”

FABLES (1985)
Infinite Pursuit / Elephants In Love / Radioactive Legacy // Cats Tales / Perpetual Rondo / In The Kingdom of Peace / Plastic Idols. Released on elpee and cassette and CD in September 1985 in the US (Atlantic, A1/A4-81276), Brazil (Atlantic, 20135), Canada (Atlantic, 78 12761), Japan (Atlantic, P-13231) and Mexico (Atlantic, LWA-6469); reached #166 on the US charts and #9 on the US Jazz charts.

Infinite Pursuit (1985)
Released as one-track promotional 12-inch in 1985 in the US (Atlantic, PR-809).

THE GIFT OF TIME (1987)
Prologue / New Resolutions / Faith In You / No More Doubts / Between Sea And Sky / Metamorphosis / Introspective Perceptions / The Gift of Time. Released on elpee, cassette and CD in 1987 in the US (Columbia, FC/FCT/CK-40983) and the UK (CBS, 460436-1); reached #5 on the US Contemporary Jazz charts. Repackaged w. Storytelling on 2CD on May 22, 1995 in Europe (Sony, 478577).

STORYTELLING (1989)
In The Fast Lane / Tender Memories / Spring Episode / Pastoral Harmony // The Story Teller / The Amazon Forest / After The Storm / A Journey’s End / Chopin Prelude No. 20 (With Violin Improvisation). Released on elpee, cassette and CD on July 26, 1989 in the US (Columbia, FC/FCT/CK 45252); reached #4 on the US Jazz charts.

In The Fast Lane (1989)
b/w Tender Memories, The Gift of Time, Faith In You. Released as four-track promotional CD single in 1989 in the US (Columbia, 1835).

TCHOKOLA (1991)
Mam’mai / Sakka Sakka / Tchokola / Mouna Bowa / N’fan Mot / Ye’ke’ye’ke / Bamako / Rhum ‘N’ Zouc / Cono / Bottle Pop. Released on CD and cassette on May 21, 1991 in the US (Epic, EK/ET 47378); reached #5 on the US Contemporary Jazz charts.

PUSS IN BOOTS (1993)
Puss In Boots / Carabas Waltz / Claude’s Dilemma / Puss In Boots’ Plan / Ruse / Claude’s Bath / King’s Daughter / Ogre / Marriage / Happy Ending. Releaed on CD on April 23, 1993 in the US (Rabbit Ears).

NO ABSOLUTE TIME (1993)
No Absolute Time / Savannah / Lost Illusions / Dance of The Spirits / Forever Together / Caracas / The African Spirit / Speak Out / Blue Mambo / The Child In You / Untitled. Released on CD on August 3, 1993 in the US (Atlantic, 82500); reached #5 on the US Contemporary Jazz charts.

THE RITE OF STRINGS (1995)
Indigo / Renaissance / Song To John (Dedicated To John Coltrane) / Chilean Pipe Song / Topanga / Morocco / Change of Life / Le Cancion De Sofia / Memory Canyon. Co-credited to Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola and released on CD on July 15, 1995 in the US (Gai Saber, 34167).

LE VOYAGE: THE JEAN-LUC PONTY ANTHOLOGY (1996)
Questions With No Answer / Bowing, Bowing / Echoes of The Future / Aurora, Part 2 / Waking Dream / Renaissance / New Country / Enigmatic Ocean, Part 2 / Enigmatic Ocean, Part 3 / Mirage / Egocentric Molecules / ? / Ethereal Mood / I Only Feel Good With You / No Strings Attached (live) // Stay With Me / A Taste For Passion / Once A Blue Planet / Forms of Life / Rhythms of Hope / Mystical Adventures Suite, Part 4 / Mystical Adventures Suite, Part 5 / Jig / Final Truth, Part 1 / Computer Incantations For World Peace / Individual Choice / Nostalgia / Eulogy To Oscar Romero / Infinite Pursuit / In The New Kingdom of Peace / Caracas / Forever Together. Compilation released on 2CD on January 23, 1996 in the US (Rhino, 72155).

LIVE AT CHENE PARK (1996)
Live tracks: Introduction / Infinite Pursuit / Tender Memories / Between Sea And Sky / Caracas / Faith In You / After The Storm / The Gift of Time / Eulogy For Oscar Romero / The Amazon Forest / The Story Teller / Elephants In Love / A Journey’s End. Released on CD on October 23, 1996 in the US (Atlantic, 82964) and Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-2091); reached #15 on the US Contemporary Jazz charts.

HLP (1997)
Live tracks: You’ve Changed / Summertime / ’Round Midnight / So What? / Noastalgia In Times Square // Carole’s Garden / That’s All / Bag’s Groove / Sonnymoon For Two / Oleo. Archival live recording from 1968 co-credited to Daniel Humair and Eddy Louiss and released on 2CD on June 17, 1997 in the US (Dreyfus). Repackaged as Humair Louiss Ponty Volumes 1 and 2 as two separate CDs on September 3, 2007 (Dreyfus, 829193).

THE VERY BEST OF JEAN-LUC PONTY (2000)
Bowing-Bowing / Aurora, Part II / Renaissance / New Country / Engimatic Ocean, Part III / Mirage / Egocentric Molecules / Cosmic Messenger / I Only Feel Good With You / No Strings Attached / A Taste For Passion / Forms of Life / Rhythms of Hope / Final Truth, Part I / Individual Choice / Infinite Pursuit. Compilation released on CD on June 20, 2000 in the US (Rhino, 79862). Repackaged as Les Incontournables on CD on December 20, 2000 (WEA).

THE BEST OF THE PACIFIC JAZZ YEARS (2001)
Cantaloupe Island (live) / Contact (live) / Pebble Beach Walk / California / The Loner / Summit Soul / Eighty-One / Twenty Small Cigars / How Would You Like To Have A Head Like That / King Kong / With A Little Help From My Friends. Compilation released on CD on May 8, 2001 in the US (Blue Note, 30815) and Germany (Pacific Jazz, 530815).

LIFE ENIGMA (2001)
Two Thousand-One Years Ago / Signals From Planet Earth / The Infinite Human Caravan / Lonely Among All / Firmament / Pizzy Cat / Life Enigma / Even The Sun Will Die / Love At Last Sight / And Life Goes On. Released on CD on August 21, 2001 in the US (JLP, 1). Reissued on CD on April 24, 2007 in the US (Koch, KOCCD-4132).

THE BEST OF JEAN-LUC PONTY (2002)
Prologue / Faith In You / Tchokola / Spring Episode / Metamorphosis / Tender Memories / Mouna Bowa / In The Fast Lane / The Gift of Time / After The Storm / Bottle Bop / Prelude No.20, Op.28. Compilation released on CD on March 14, 2002 in the US (Legacy, 65964).

LIVE AT SEMPER OPERA (2002)
Released on CD on July 23, 2002 in the US (JLP, 2).

JEAN-LUC PONTY IN CONCERT (2004)
Live tracks: Rhythms of Hope / Jig / No Absolute Time / Pastoral Harmony / Caracas / Memories of California / Mouna Bowa / Enigmatic Ocean, Part II / Open Mind. Released on CD on August 3, 2004 in the US (JLP Productions, 003).

THE ACATAMA EXPERIENCE (2007)
Introduction / Parisian Thoroughfare / Premonition / Point of No Return / Back In The 60s / Without Regrets / Celtic Steps / Desert Crossing / Last Memories of Her / The Acatama Experience / On My Way To Bombay / Still In Here / Euphoria / To & Fro. Released on CD on May 8, 2007 in the US (Koch, 2332).

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